Even before the coronavirus pandemic closed offices around the globe, more and more people were ditching their commute and setting up shop in their homes. Thanks to so many innovative new products like Zoom, Slack, and Prezi Video, it’s no longer necessary to be in the office to be a productive member of a team. For some people, working from home can actually be more productive than being in the office.
Still, it takes a little time and practice to learn how to work from home effectively. Every remote worker has had to set up their own office space, build relationships with coworkers and be heard in meetings without being physically present, and learn to set up boundaries between work and personal life.
How to work from home
To help navigate the ins and outs of working from home, we’ve rounded up our favorite articles about remote work to create the ultimate work-from-home guide. Read on to discover how to make working from home easier and more productive.
1. Home office setup
Start by carving out some space for yourself at home. Living with family or roommates can be distracting during the work day, and it’ll be a lot easier to get some work done if you have a place you can go when you need to concentrate.
Once you’ve claimed your space, think about what you need to comfortably work throughout the day. For instance, a designer has a much different job than an engineer, so it makes sense that their work spaces are going to look different. Consider what it is about yourself and your job that you’d want reflected in your space.
Read our blog post for more information on the best home office setups.
2. Video conferencing best practices
It’s a great time to brush up on your video conferencing skills now that so many professionals are working from home. In this article, we show you how you can have better video meetings and better presentations with a few best practices.
Little things like turning on your camera and saying “hi” when you sign into your meeting will help close the distance between you and everyone else on the call, and more complicated things like using a green screen for virtual backgrounds will make your video feed pop on everyone else’s screen.
3. Presenting on video
Being on camera is not something that we’re all innately comfortable with, but now that many professionals are meeting online, it’s never been more important to use video to make a great impression with your clients and coworkers. That’s why we teamed up with Jessica Chen, an Emmy Award-winning journalist and founder of Soulcast Media, to show the best ways to present over video.
With her helpful tips, you can better understand what you should wear on camera, how to turn your presentation into a compelling story, and what the heck you should do with your hands.
4. Making your virtual meetings fun
It’s likely that your meeting isn’t the first virtual meeting that your attendees have gone to that week, so how do you make yours stand out without any distractions or video conference fatigue creeping in? The truth is, you can make your virtual meetings a lot more fun by simply making a few adjustments.
Using visuals, encouraging participation, and setting expectations are just a few things you can do to liven up your meetings. Learn more ideas in our article about fun virtual meetings.
5. Boosting engagement with remote workers
Working at home can be a little isolating when you don’t have coworkers to bump into in the kitchen or people sitting near you to chat with. But there are ways to adapt — Elena Valentine, CEO of the workplace media company Skill Scout and self-proclaimed “job nerd,” shares her tips on boosting engagement among remote workers.
Her advice is all about the three Cs – connect with your team, cultivate professional skills, and care for your employees. Focusing on these areas is good for your employees’ mental health, and can also improve the productivity of your company. 95% of highly engaged employees go above and beyond, and companies are 67% more likely to improve revenue with an employee engagement plan.
6. Managing remote employees
If moving your team to a remote setting caused productivity and communication to suffer, it might be time to rethink your management style. Often, it’s a lack of direction that makes working at home more challenging for employees. Implement a strategy that embraces the unique position you and your team are in, and make sure to balance communication, prioritization, and flexibility.
Iwo Szapar, Remote Work Advocate & co-founder of Remote-how, offers his advice for managing remote employees in his open letter to managers. Read his article for more.
7. Remote trainings
Providing training is one of the most important things you can do for your company, but if you and your employees are working from home, you can’t rely on the same practices that made your trainings engaging in person. Robert Rose, the Chief Strategy Advisor with the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), discusses his tips for running an engaging training remotely.
Get tips on everything from using visuals and organizing your time and content to making your training entertaining.
8. Running your all-hands virtually
Working from home can take away that sense of community you get at the office. One of the benefits of an all-hands is that your company congregates as one big team and can see what others are working on. Encourage everyone to turn their cameras on so they can see one another. Speakers using Prezi Video have the advantage of maintaining that on-screen connection with attendees, even while they’re presenting content.
In the video above, Prezi’s co-founder, Peter Arvai, provides his advice for running an engaging and informative all-hands week after week.
9. Making a sales pitch on video
The best sales pitches are two-way conversations between the seller and the customer, but how do your conversations change when you’re meeting over video? With Prezi Video, you have the next best thing to being in the same room as your clients – you’re able to show your products and content, all while keeping that face-to-face connection. This connection helps you build a rapport with your customers, which is essential for a successful sales pitch.
Explore more actionable tips for making a sales pitch on video.
10. Hosting engaging virtual events
Speaking at a virtual event is one of the best ways to share your brand’s knowledge and message, but hosting a virtual event can be a whole new challenge. Josephine Tse, the PR & Integrated Content Producer at Torre and lead at Remoter, discusses her experiences hosting virtual events and how to make them more engaging.
Her advice: find a stable internet connection, test thoroughly, document everything, keep it tight and structured, and make use of all the tools and platforms out there. “If there’s something out there that’ll help you, a tool that’ll be an extension of something you need to do, then use it!”
11. Asynchronous communication
Asynchronous communication happens when you don’t have to be in the same time or place to have your meeting. Things like email, messaging, and doc sharing are all forms of communication that people were well-versed in before the pandemic. Now that they’re working from home, they’re relying on them more than ever. Turns out when you can’t stop by your coworkers’ desks, you send a lot more emails.
Dig into this subject and learn how asynchronous communication affects your workplace.
12. Benefits of working from home
Working from home is more than just staying in your pajamas all day. Employees who work from home tend to experience lower stress levels, increased productivity, and greater levels of job satisfaction than those who work in the office. And with the amount of money you can save by eliminating your commute and cooking at home, it’s a no-brainer that working from home has become more popular over the past few years.
Learn more about the benefits of working from home for you and your employer in this article.
Whether your company is thinking about switching to a remote setup or you need to look for a more flexible schedule, learning how to work from home can help you become a happier and more productive worker. If you’d like to learn more about working from home, check out our work from home videos and try our remote work trainings.